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7 Key Historical Sites of South African Apartheid

7 Key Historical Sites of South African Apartheid



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1. Robben Island

Robben Island, off the coast of Cape Town in South Africa was a notorious prison, best known for its internment of political prisoners during South African apartheid. Its most famous prisoner – prisoner 466/64 – was Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid activist who would later become the country’s president. In all, Mandela was imprisoned for almost 27 years, together with many other anti-apartheid activists. Robben Island’s prison closed in 1996. In addition to touring the maximum security prison buildings, the tour includes a 45 minute guided bus ride around the island and interaction with a former Robben Island prisoner. A symbol of the most difficult and divisive era in South Africa’s history, Robben Island is arguably the most symbolic, evocative and important of all South African historic locations.


Grade 5 - Term 4: A Heritage trail through the provinces of South Africa

Each of South Africa’s nine provinces is rich in diverse heritage that belongs to all South Africans. Heritage can be tangible or intangible. Tangible heritage includes things we can see and touch, like a place, ornament, building, fossil or artwork. Intangible heritage includes things such as our family heritage, religion, praise poetry, music, songs, dance and festivals, or even in naming a place after a significant person. The heritage trail in this section of your Grade 5 history takes us to places in different parts of South Africa and looks at some of the things of significance that we have inherited from the past.

The Nine Provinces

Gauteng means "place of gold" in Sesotho, and it was built on the wealth of gold found deep underground. Forty percent of the world’s gold reserves are found in the land under Johannesburg.

Capital City: Johannesburg

Mine-dumps and headgear are symbols of Johannesburg's rich past. Gleaming skyscrapers contrast with Indian bazaars and African medicine shops, and the streets throng with fruit sellers and street vendors. An exciting blend of ethnic and western art and cultural activities is reflected in theatres and open-air arenas throughout the city.

North West Province

North West is known as the Platinum Province because of the wealth of the metal it has underground. It has a number of major tourist attractions, including the internationally famous Sun City, the Pilanesberg National Park, the Madikwe Game Reserve and the Rustenburg Nature Reserve.

Mahikeng (previously Mafeking, then Mafikeng) is best known for the famous siege during the South African War, which ended in a decisive victory for the British and made a hero of Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts. The siege was movingly recorded by South African intellectual, journalist and activist Sol T Plaatje in his Boer War Diary: An African at Mafeking

The Free State

The Free State lies in the heart of South Africa, between the Vaal River in the north and the Orange River in the south. The area is characterised by flat, rolling grasslands and crop fields, rising to lovely sandstone mountains in the northeast.

Capital City: Bloemfontein

Bloemfontein is an important centre of education and administration in South Africa. The city is home to the Supreme Court of Appeal, the University of the Free State and the Central University of Technology.

Limpopo is a region of contrasts, from true bushveld country to majestic mountains, ancient indigenous forests, unspoilt wilderness and patchworks of farmland. Limpopo is rich in natural beauty, culture and wildlife and has a thriving tourism industry, including the Kruger National Park.

Polokwane means “place of safety”. The city provides access to various nature and wildlife viewing opportunities for tourists, such as the Polokwane Game Reserve. The city is also home to an extensive art gallery and archaeological sites with remains of iron and copper smelting installations, as well as rock paintings from around 1000 BCE.

Mpumalanga – "the place where the sun rises" – is a province with spectacular scenic beauty and an abundance of wildlife.

Nelspruit is also known as Mbombela. The city and the surrounding area contain San art.

Kwa-Zulu-Natal

The garden province of South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. Its western part is marked by the dramatic Drakensberg mountain range, with several peaks well over 3 000 metres. The range has been awarded Unesco World Heritage status for its dramatic natural beauty and the wealth of San Bushman rock art found in its caves – the richest concentration on the continent of Africa.

Capital City: Pietermaritzburg

The city is home to many schools and universities and some tourist attractions include The Natal Museum, Tatham Art Gallery, City Hall and SANBI Botanical Gardens.

Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape, lying on the south-eastern coast, is a region of great natural beauty, from the picturesque Karoo desert to the rugged cliffs, rough seas and dense green bush of the stretch known as the Wild Coast.

Bisho is the Xhosa word for buffalo, which is also the name of the river that runs through this town.

Western Cape

This province is one of the country's most beautiful, attracting the lion's share of foreign tourists. It is a region of majestic mountains, colourful patchworks of farmland set in lovely valleys, long beaches and, further inland, the wide-open landscape of the semi-desert Karoo.

Apart from being the home of South Africa’s iconic Table Mountain, the area has a long and colourful history. Robben Island, in Table Bay, near Cape Town, was used for centuries as a prison and is now an essential stop for visitors to the region. It was on this island, that Nelson Mandela spent the bulk of his 27 years in prison.

Northern Cape

The Northern Cape is the largest province in South Africa. Its mighty Orange River feeds the agriculture and diamond industries in the area.

Home of the Big Hole, Kimberley has considerable historical significance due to its diamond mining past and the siege during the Second Boer War.

Province Heritage Type of heritage
Gauteng Cradle of Humankind Site of significance
North West The stone-walled town ofKaditshwene Heritage in architecture
Free State Rivers, dams and towns Heritage in names of places
Limpopo Golden objects at Mapungubwe Heritage in objects
Mpumalanga The Makhanjwa Mountains – the oldest in the world Mountains and ancestors
Kwa-Zulu-Natal San rock art in the Drakensberg Heritage in Art
Eastern Cape Healing properties of aloe Indigenous medicine
Western Cape The Castle Heritage in changing identities
Northern Cape Francis Baard Heritage in people’s achievements

Heritage can be divided into two major categories: Natural heritage and Cultural heritage

Natural Heritage Sites

Natural heritage is a country’s natural environment, including the local plant life and wildlife. The beauty of a natural heritage site can attract tourists to a country. South Africa has many natural heritage sites, including:

The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park The Cape Floral Kingdom The Greater St Lucia Wetlands National Park

Cultural Heritage Sites

Cultural heritage refers to things that a group of people or a country believe to be very important and valuable to them because they are a part of their history and identity. Cultural heritage reflects who you are as a group or as a country. Cultural heritage is passed down from generation to generation. Cultural heritage can be tangible, such as artefacts like pots or types of weapons, jewellery, books, paintings, documents, instruments or places such as graves, archaeological sites, museums, monuments, and buildings.

Cultural heritage can also be intangible, in the form of music, dances, cultural practices, religions, festivals, ceremonies, traditions, customs and ways of doing things in a society. This heritage is what we have inherited from our ancestors and learned from previous generations.

Activity
Think of some examples of cultural heritage you express in your daily life. Think of some tangible and intangible examples and write them down in your book.

World Heritage Sites

A world heritage site is a place that has been officially recognised by the United Nations as having special value to all human beings. The United Nations Organisation (UNO) is a global organisation that each country in the world belongs to. It is responsible for promoting world peace and protecting things of global importance. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is responsible for naming world heritage sites. There are 936 world heritage sites in total, eight of which are located in South Africa.

  • Cradle of Humankind.
  • Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape.
  • Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape.
  • Robben Island.
  • Cape Floral Region Protected Areas.
  • iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
  • Vredefort Dome.
  • uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park

The Cradle of Humankind

Who are we? Where did we come from? What does it mean to be human?

Humans have always been intrigued by these mysteries, but the discoveries made at the Cradle of Humankind have given us some insight into the answers to these important questions, and therefore, in 1999 the area was declared a World Heritage Site. The Cradle of Humankind is a large area about 50km north of Johannesburg, where many fossil sites are located. The most famous is the Sterkfontein Caves. The discoveries of fossilised bones of early humans have given us incredible clues about what early humans were like and where we come from.

In 1936, Dr Robert Broom found the bones of an early hominid (a human-like being) in The Sterkfontein Caves. A decade later, he made the famous discovery of Mrs Ples – a 2.3-million-year-old Australopithecus fossil. The discovery proved that the first humans came from Africa. Since then, many more hominid fossils have been found in the area (some over 3.5 million years old), as well as animal fossils and over 9000 stone tools.

Other famous fossils include “Little Foot”, a discovery which began with uncovering four tiny foot bones, and led to the discovery of the most complete early hominid skeleton. It is believed that Little Foot was a child who died when he fell down a hole into the caves while running from a predator. More recently, in 2013, a group of cavers discovered a large number of fossils, which belong to a species of hominid scientists call Homo Naledi. What fascinated some scientists is that is appears as if the bones may have been placed in the cave on purpose by the Homo Naledi, who may have wished to bury their dead in one place – quite a remarkable practice for such ancient hominids!

Golden Objects at Mapungubwe

On 8 April 1933, The Illustrated London News reported a remarkable discovery: a grave of unknown origin, containing lots of gold objects, found on top of a natural rock stronghold in a wild region. This site, Mapungubwe Hill, is on the farm Greefswald where the borders between South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana meet. Since the site was discovered, in 1933, research and news reports have told the story of Mapungubwe, a flourishing Iron Age trading centre on the Limpopo River, ruled by an African king almost a thousand years ago.

The heritage of Frances Baard’s achievements

Heritage is not only about places and objects from the past. It can also be about celebrating people and the good things they have done for others or for a good cause. In 2001, a municipal district in the Northern Cape was renamed to commemorate the brave actions of a woman named Frances Baard, who did a lot to fight for the rights of others. Frances Baard, or ‘Mabaard’, to those who knew her well, was an anti-apartheid activist who fought to defend human rights by protesting against the unfairness of apartheid. She was a trade unionist, who stood up for the rights of workers, and she was also an organiser of the ANC’s Women’s League. Her actions included participation in the Defiance Campaign in 1952, a peaceful protest where black people were encouraged to simply defy the apartheid laws, by breaking curfews, refusing to carry a pass book or deliberately using facilities reserved for whites only. She also helped to write the Freedom Charter in1955 and was one of the leaders of the women’s march on the union buildings in 1956.

Heritage in names of rivers, dams and town in the Free State

The Free State is a province with many different people and languages. This mix of cultures in reflected in the names of its river, dams and towns. These names are another form of heritage as they help to preserve memories of the past.

Gariep is the Nama name for the Orange River. The name Gariep is being used more and frequently, because many people have realised the importance and value in keeping the Nama language alive to preserve the culture.

Heritage in names of rivers, dams and town in the Free State

The Free State is a province with many different people and languages. This mix of cultures in reflected in the names of its river, dams and towns. These names are another form of heritage as they help to preserve memories of the past.

Gariep is the Nama name for the Orange River. The name Gariep is being used more and frequently, because many people have realised the importance and value in keeping the Nama language alive to preserve the culture.

Sol Plaatje Dam

Sol Plaatje was born in the Free State, in 1876, and he grew up to become a highly influential and famous black journalist and writer who spoke out against racial discrimination.

Hobhouse is a small farming town in the Free State, named after Emily Hobhouse, a British woman who did much to help people in the South African War. The British used concentration camps to imprison enemy civilians to prevent them from helping enemy soldiers. The conditions in these camps were terribly inhumane. Emily Hobhouse investigated the camps and reported her shocking finding to the British public and campaigned to put a stop to the human rights abuses.

Other examples

After the end of apartheid, regions in the Free State were also renamed in the different languages of the people living in the Free State. An example is Lejweleputswa, which is a Basotho word meaning Grey Rock. This replaced the name ‘Free State Goldfields’.

The Castle as an example of heritage in buildings

The Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town is the oldest building in South Africa. It was built by Soldiers, sailors and slaves, over 30 years, using local stone as well as stone blocks imported from Holland.

In 1652, Jan van Riebeek arrived at the Cape. He had been sent by the Dutch East India Company to set up a halfway station where trading ships could stop to get fresh food, water and supplies half way through their journey between Europe and India. In 1666, the settlers living at the halfway station decided to build the fort for protection. Over the years, the castle’s identity and purpose has been reinvented many times. After it was no longer used as a fort, it became the centre of community life and administration in the Cape. Today it is mainly a museum that shows the lives of the early settlers in Cape Town.

Indigenous medicine and the healing properties of the aloe

The Eastern Cape is home to unique type of heritage in the form of an indigenous tradition. This tradition is the use of the aloe plant for its medicinal properties. An aloe is type of succulent plant that grows in the Eastern Cape, and the people living there have used it for centuries to treat various health problems. The soothing quality of the aloe is used to treat many skin problems, including burns, skin infections, wounds, acne, allergic reactions and insect bites. It is also used to sooth heartburn and the juice is believed to help digestion. Many pharmaceutical companies have also embraced the indigenous knowledge of the aloe’s healing properties and it is used as in ingredient in countless pills, lotions, sprays, ointments, creams and jellies.

The stone-walled town of Kaditshwene

This ancient Tswana city was home to a population of approximately twenty thousand people of the Bahurutshe tribe in the early 1800s. The Bahurutshe were a tribe of wealthy cattle farmers and traders who traded iron and copper, which they were skilled in producing. Archaeologists have discovered numerous well-preserved smelting furnaces in the area which show that the people were skilled in smelting metals and creating items for trade. The town was highly advanced and was skilfully laid-out and built using well-constructed stone walls which still stand today.

Architecture in the town

The architecture in the town is fascinating. The town consisted of separate walled off enclosures containing large circular stone houses, with high walls and space for families to keep animals and store grain.

The Makonjwa – the oldest mountains in the world

These mountains are a geological marvel and world heritage site because, at around 3.6 billion years old, they are the oldest and best preserved rocks in the world. These ancient green rocks are a valuable record of the earth’s history and can tell us much about how and when the earth was formed. The mountains are located near Barberton, in Mpumalanga. As well as holding prehistoric significance, these mountains also hold cultural significance and represent a rich history involving Africans and settlers. For the Swazi people, these mountains are considered sacred as it is believed that there is powerful connection between the rocks and the ancestors. The rocks themselves are believed to allow communication with the ancestors and even have healing powers. There are also many stories about early prospectors looking for gold in the mountains, and today some of the oldest gold is mined from these mountains.

The San Rock Art in the Drakensberg

The San were the first people to live in South Africa, over 20000 years ago. These hunter-gathers used their extensive knowledge of plants and animals to survive. The San were nomadic wanderers who lived off the land and moved with the changing seasons and movements of the antelope herds. They therefore left no trace of buildings or houses or roads, but they did tell their story through the medium of art which they painted on the surfaces of rack faces and cave walls. San rock paintings can be found all over Southern Africa but some of the best examples are found in the Drakensberg. This world heritage site contains over 20 000 examples of rock art in over 500 caves. There is something mysterious and magical about this ancient art that tells the fascinating story of people, animals, shamans, and ancient rituals and the spirit world. The paintings depict epic hunts, battles and trance dances where shamans would visit the spirit world. These sites hold deep spiritual significance for people even thousands of years later.


The Harsh Reality of Life Under Apartheid in South Africa

From 1948 through the 1990s, a single word dominated life in South Africa. Apartheid�rikaans for 𠇊partness”—kept the country’s majority black population under the thumb of a small white minority. It would take decades of struggle to stop the policy, which affected every facet of life in a country locked in centuries-old patterns of discrimination and racism.

A sign common in Johannesburg, South Africa, reading &aposCaution Beware Of Natives&apos.

The segregation began in 1948 after the National Party came to power. The nationalist political party instituted policies of white supremacy, which empowered white South Africans who descended from both Dutch and British settlers in South Africa while further disenfranchising black Africans. 

The system was rooted in the country’s history of colonization and slavery. White settlers had historically viewed black South Africans as a natural resource to be used to turn the country from a rural society to an industrialized one. Starting in the 17th century, Dutch settlers relied on slaves to build up South Africa. Around the time that slavery was abolished in the country in 1863, gold and diamonds were discovered in South Africa. 

Many white women in South Africa learned how to use firearms for self-protection in the event of racial unrest in 1961, when South Africa became a republic.

That discovery represented a lucrative opportunity for white-owned mining companies that employed𠅊nd exploited𠅋lack workers. Those companies all but enslaved black miners while enjoying massive wealth from the diamonds and gold they mined. Like Dutch slave holders, they relied on intimidation and discrimination to rule over their black workers.

The mining companies borrowed a tactic that earlier slaveholders and British settlers had used to control black workers: pass laws. As early as the 18th century, these laws had required members of the black majority, and other people of color, to carry identification papers at all times and restricted their movement in certain areas. They were also used to control black settlement, forcing black people to reside in places where their labor would benefit white settlers.

A woman shows the "interior passport" that she must have to enter Cape Town during work hours, circa 1984. The rest of the time, people of color were not allowed in the cities. 

Alain Nogues/Sygma/Getty Images

Those laws persisted through the 20th century as South Africa became a self-governing dominion of the United Kingdom. Between 1899 and 1902, Britain and the਍utch-descended Afrikaners fought one another in the Boer War, a conflict that the Afrikaners eventually lost. Anti-British sentiment continued to foment among white South Africans, and Afrikaner nationalists developed an identity rooted in white supremacy. When they took control in 1948, they made the country’s already discriminatory laws even more draconian.

Racist fears and attitudes about “natives” colored white society. Though apartheid was supposedly designed to allow different races to develop on their own, it forced black South Africans into poverty and hopelessness. “Grand” apartheid laws focused on keeping black people in their own designated “homelands.” And “petty” apartheid laws focused on daily life restricted almost every facet of black life in South Africa. 


Students’ views

Even more interesting were the responses of the pupils, who are all around 14 years old, as they explained how they saw the relationship between past and present.

A number of students had a good understanding of apartheid events. But the only way they could explain the country’s continued racialised wealth discrepancy was to state that black South Africans were lazy. Many did not draw upon structural or historical explanations when interpreting their own social reality.

One Xhosa-speaking black student who lives in a shack argued that apartheid had no lasting effects – because the white family whose home his mother cleans often speak to him kindly. Most of the students that I interviewed believed that the colonisation of South Africa was ultimately a positive thing because now we have “clothes, food and technology”. None of the students of any race believed that white people had any historic responsibility to address past wrongs.

These students were neither stupid nor ill-informed. So how should we make sense of their responses? Perhaps this is what social cohesion looks like in 2018. For the most part they were not angry about the past, because they don’t see the past as having a particular impact on their present lives. The past is a lesson to learn from, not something which stands in their way.

The question, though, is whether they are capable of dealing with educational, social and political problems if they view these problems as ahistorical. And if we discover that they can’t, then maybe we need to include some historical consciousness in the South African history curriculum before we make more of it compulsory.


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10 Historical Landmarks to See in South Africa

  • One of the oldest buildings in South Africa, Castle of Good Hope, completed in 1666, was the hub of political and military activity in the country

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Considered one of the most important historical sites in South Africa, the small building vividly recounts the story of the mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants who lived on the edge of the city centre before the process of enforced removals, under apartheid, destroyed it. Pinnacle Point Caves, Mossel Bay

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There’s a host of top Historic Sites in South Africa to visit and among the very best are District Six, Castle of Good Hope and Isandlwana Battlefield. Other popular sites tend to include Rorke’s Drift, Majuba Hill and Laing’s Nek Battlefield.

Historical Sites of South Africa

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Historical Sites of South Africa From Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years to the Battle Fields Route - the famous battle sites of the Anglo-Boer and Anglo-Zulu wars - the South African history comes alive when travelling through its cities and towns.

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  • The best historical sites in South Africa to visit
  • Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island, making it one of the most important and popular historical sites in South Africa
  • But the Rainbow Nation has more to offer visitors to the southernmost tip of the African continent, not least The Cradle of Humankind in Maropeng.

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  • The Voortrekker Monument, situated in a Pretoria nature reserve, won the Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice award for 2016
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Category:Historic sites in South Africa

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Which heritage sites are in South Africa

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South Africa has eight World Heritage Sites proclaimed by UNESCO, namely: Robben Island (Western Cape).Most famous for the incarceration of political prisoners, including Nelson Mandela, the first democratically elected President of South Africa, who was imprisoned for 18 of his 27 years in jail.

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  • (Make a weekend of it and book a place to stay in Coffee Bay).

10 historical landmarks to see in South Africa

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  • Experience South Africa’s rich history, from its turbulent past to its unique architecture and languages, by visiting these historical monuments
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  • Amy McKenna is a senior editor, primarily focused on geography and history matters pertaining to sub-Saharan Africa
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  • Stellenbosch is one of the most picturesque towns in South Africa
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  • The oldest surviving structure in South Africa, the Castle of Good Hope, was built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company
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  • Robben Island, off the coast of Cape Town in South Africa was a notorious prison, best known for its internment of political prisoners during South African apartheid
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  • Kruger National Park is one of the natural landmarks in South Africa
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List of World Heritage Sites in Africa

Four sites are shared between two countries: Maloti-Drakensberg Park (Lesotho and South Africa), the Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea), the Stone Circles of Senegambia (the Gambia and Senegal), and the Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls (Zambia and Zimbabwe).


8 Excellent Experiences in South Africa

Hundreds of thousands of people will be exploring South Africa during the 2010 World Cup, but there’s so much more to see and do besides watch the games. No matter if your visit falls during the World Cup or if you’re planning for a future trip, you’ll discover that South Africa is a vibrant country that’s filled with a range of exciting activities for tourists from all walks of life. Whether you’re interested in cultural tours, historical sites or the best places to shop, South Africa will undoubtedly deliver. Here is a list of some activities that this energetic country has to offer.

Township tours

Townships in South Africa have given rise to wonderful local art forms including an array of musical theatre productions and a particular form of upbeat jazz endemic to South African informal settlements. They are lively places that are a testament to the perseverance of the South African people.

Although these settlements began pejoratively as homesteads created by the Apartheid government in order to instill a policy of segregation, they have become a thriving part of South African culture. In a newly democratic country, they offer great potential for tourists interested in sampling the local culture. So, if booking a trip to see shacks made creatively from corrugated iron and chatting to locals who have persevered through the dark Apartheid days is appealing to you, then check out some of South Africa’s townships.

The best way to experience township life is to take a guided tour. Local guides will give you an insider’s take on life in informal settlements and you will get a chance to interact with the locals of the community learning about the indigenous culture as you go. Although there are townships sprinkled all over the country, the most famous informal settlement is Soweto in Johannesburg. This was the site of the Soweto uprisings in 1976 in which protests against Apartheid policies turned violent. This is also the location where the original home of Nelson Mandela still stands. It has since been converted into a museum and can be found in Vilakazi Street – the only place in the world where the original homes of two Nobel Prize winners can be found in a single street (Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s original home is across the street from the museum and is still used as a normal residence). Contact the Soweto Tourism Information Centre to book a tour.

Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape Province and one of this year’s World Cup host cities, is home to townships including New Brighton, Kwazakhele, Zwide, Motherwell and Magxaki. Fairfield Tours offers a packaged deal that visits a number of these townships.

On the outskirts of Cape Town, Khayelitsha is one of the country’s biggest and fastest growing townships. When the Group Areas Act was implemented in Cape Town in 1957, it quickly became one of the most segregated cities in the country with Khayelitsha at the forefront. There are a number of tour operators that offer guided tours of this famous township. The townships of Langa and Gugulethu are also located in Cape Town.

Safari

Africa is home to some of the world’s most exciting and interesting wildlife, from big cats like lions and leopards to massive mammals like elephants and rhinos, and South Africa has an assortment of game reserves for those visitors who wish to take a walk on the wild side. SanParks manages the country’s parks that have been granted national status, but in additional to this, there are a host of wonderful private game reserves that are well worth a visit. Many of these reserves such as Phinda Game Reserve in Kwa-Zulu Natal or Shamwari in the Eastern Cape offer guests all-inclusive packages that comprise of game drives in open-air safari vehicles (sometimes a choice of a drive or a walk is offered), meals and accommodation. This is a marvelous luxury experience if you can afford it.

For those tourists whose wallets resist the private game reserves, self-driving is an economical and worthwhile alternative. Most South African National Parks allow guests to drive around during the day in their own vehicles (of course, in parks with big game, visitors are not allowed to wander the park at night or on foot without a qualified guide). A daily conservation fee is charged and if you get tired of diving yourself around, individual game drives and walks can be booked at the rest camp that you choose as your base.

The jewel in South Africa’s game park crown is the Kruger National Park. Over a million people visit this famous reserve every year and it isn’t hard to see why. Situated near Polokwane and Nelspruit, it covers an area larger than Israel and is home to an enormous diversity of game. Accommodation options range from affordable camping and chalets to housing in more exclusive lodges. The park is bordered by a number of private concessions such as Sabi Sabi and Sabi Sand.

Also worth checking out is the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in Kwa-Zulu Natal, the Pilansberg Game Reserve near Sun City in the North West Province, Addo Elephant Park in the Eastern Cape Province and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park near Uppington in the Northern Cape. In Bloemfontein, the Soetdoring Nature Reserve houses lions in a fenced off area. Whilst this experience lacks the authenticity of spotting these felines entirely in the wild, it does offer guests a more guaranteed sighting. Similar animal parks include the Lion and Rhino Park near Johannesburg and The Cheetah Experience in the Free State Province.

Historical sites

South Africa has a rich and diverse history. From the first European settlers who made Cape Town their home and the bloody battles that raged in Zululand between the Trek Boers and the local Xhosa people to the notorious Apartheid regime of racial separation and the democratization of the country in 1994, South Africa has definitely had its share of illustrious historical events. This rich history has led to a plethora of interesting historical sites that are a must-see for all tourists hoping to gain a greater understanding of the country. These sites range from museums and parks to monuments and battlefields.

In Johannesburg, check out Constitution Hill, the home of the Constitutional Court and the site of the infamous Old Fort Prison Complex where many political leaders were detained during the Apartheid era. Joburg’s township of Soweto also houses the Hector Pieterson Museum, dedicated to one of the first victims of the Soweto uprisings and Mandela House, the iconic statesman’s original residence which has been converted into a museum. Johannesburg is in proximity to Tshwane (formally Pretoria) and you’d be missing out if you didn’t visit this nearby host city. Tshwane boasts a wealth of historical sites worth checking out such as the Church Square, the Union Buildings, Freedom Park and the Voortrekker Monument.

South-east of Joburg is Zululand in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province. This land was the original home of the formidable King Shaka Zulu who proudly led his warriors into bloody battles and hostile takeovers, and many of these original battle sites are open to the public. And in Durban, visit Rorke’s Drift and the site of the well-renowned Battle of Isandlwana. Also of interest to Boer War history buffs are the nearby towns of Ladysmith, Spionkop and Colenso. Bloemfontein in the Free State Province is also home to battlefields, and a good place to start exploring is the Anglo-Boer War Museum on Monument Street.

If you are visiting the Mother City (Cape Town), then be sure to check out Robben Island, the site of the prison where Nelson Mandela spent 27 years of his life. The boat ride over provides beautiful views of Cape Town, and the tour, led by former political prisoners, is a sobering look at the country’s history.

If you are an architectural enthusiast, visit the old city halls and other historic buildings in Durban and the nearby city of Pietermaritzburg. Nelspruit’s magnificent Kruger National Park contains a wealth of interesting historical sites, from the alleged birthplace of Jock of the Bushveld, to the wagon trails that run through the park.

The great outdoors

Many people venture to South Africa to soak up the spectacular scenery and to bask in the country’s vast open spaces. From beaches to parks and botanical gardens, South Africa has a lot to offer prospective picnickers and suntanners.

Many major cities in the country have botanical gardens which work to preserve a variety of plant species. They are wonderfully scenic places, ideal for picnics and generally very affordable. The Lowveld Botanical Garden near Nelspruit is home to the biggest collection of cycads in Africa and the Pretoria National Botanical Garden possesses the largest herbarium in the Southern Hemisphere. Other botanical gardens include Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden near Cape Town, the Kwa-Zulu Natal National Botanical Garden situated in Pietermaritzburg about an hour out of Durban, Harold Porter National Botanical Garden, the Durban Botanical Garden, the Johannesburg National Botanical Garden, the Free State Botanical Garden near Bloemfontein and the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden just outside of Johannesburg. Nine of the botanical gardens have been granted national status.

If picnicking isn’t really your thing, then perhaps a hike would be more appealing. The Kingdom of Lesotho is a landlocked country near Bloemfontein that has the highest ‘lowest point’ (1400 metres) of any country in the world. This mountainous kingdom offers fantastic hiking opportunities and pony-trekking. On the eastern side of Lesotho, near Durban, the famed Drakensberg Mountain Range is a must for keen hikers. Most major cities also have small nature reserves or parks near to them that visitors can explore on foot.

An alternative to hiking if you are in Polokwane is to visit the mysterious Lake Fundudzi and the nearby Thathe Vondo Forest. The local Venda people believe that the Lake is protected by a python god and that the proper and respectful way to greet the lake when you first encounter it is to turn your back and look at the body of water upside down through your legs. The indigenous Thathe Vondo Forest is also sacred to the Venda people and offers great birding opportunities.

The Hartebeespoort Dam, in the North West province near host city Rustenburg in the Magaliesberg Nature Reserve, is a fantastic family holiday spot and offers nearby activities like skiing, boating, golfing, walking, hiking and horse riding.

The windy city of Port Elizabeth and the ever-humid Durban both have some great beaches. Check out Humewood, King’s, Hobie and Pollock beaches in Port Elizabeth and South Beach in Durban which has been granted Blue Flag status, a ranking that only beaches with the highest standard of cleanliness and safety are awarded. Other Blue Fag beaches worth exploring include Margate Main Beach, Ramsgate Beach and Marina Beach near Southbroom on the South Coast and Willard Beach in Ballito. Cape Town also has a range of great beaches.

Culinary delights

“Chuck another roll of wors on the braai there, boet.” If you happen to come across this phrase or something similar on your visit to South Africa don’t panic, rather make sure that you join in the cultural culinary practice of braaiing (barbecuing). South Africans love to drink beer and cook meat over an open fire, especially as a precursor to a big sporting event. Wors (pronounced vors) is a shortened name for boerewors, a spicy sausage that is almost always cooked on a braai. If you try this and enjoy it, be sure to sample some biltong as well. These tasty strips of flavored dry meat are a South African favorite.

Potjiekos (pronounced Poi-key-caus) is also worth a try. It is a slowly cooked meat or vegetable stew that is normally cooked in a special pot over an open flame. Mielie Pap, an inexpensive stiff porridge made from maize meal is a staple food of the South African diet. The country is full of scrumptious culinary treats that shouldn’t be missed.

If you are in Durban for the World Cup, be sure to head down to the beach promenade where a host of restaurants can be found, or to Florida Road which also boasts a healthy collection of eateries. If you are looking to buy some of the local produce, the market at Warwick Triangle sells everything from sheep and cow heads to roasted mealies (corn-on-the-cob).

The Walter Sisulu Square in Soweto, Johannesburg is a great place to sample some local cultural flavors. It offers a selection of restaurants and a braai-area known as a tshisa-nyama. In Cape Town, be sure to head down to the harbor to sample the catch of the day along with a tasty wine from one of the Western Cape’s many wine estates. Long Street is also a hub of restaurants and nightlife and the Africa Café offers traditional African cuisine.

Polokwane offers a selection of eateries in the city centre and Port Elizabeth’s Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World will no doubt please most taste buds. When in Rustenberg, you can head to the News Café or The Fish Inn for dinner. If you’re a carnivore, be sure to try some of South Africa’s local meats, like eland, springbok, and ostrich.

Shopping

Shopping is a part of South Africa culture. Impressive malls and shopping centers can be found in most cities and towns and these house enormous chain stores as well as smaller boutiques that cater to a niche market. In addition to the big centers, flea markets are found in most major cities and hawkers and craftspeople are often seen selling their merchandise on pavements and at busy intersections. Farm stalls and arts and crafts markets are scattered around the countryside and across rural areas as well.

Innovative wire and bead sculptures often made from scrap such as food and drink tins can be found on sale at a multitude of roadside markets and crafts stalls. If you are in Port Elizabeth, make the journey up to the town of Cradock. Some of the finest examples of this form of art can be found here. A good place to start if you are interested primarily in crafts is to get hold of a copy of the Due South Craft Route travel guide, which covers a multitude of craft markets in the country and can often help in revealing lesser known routes.

South Africa has a sophisticated clothing industry that manufactures a massive range of clothing from safari gear to African-influenced casual wear. You can find clothing for sale all over the country, but the bigger malls such as Gateway Shopping Centre in Umhlanga near Durban, Sandton City Shopping Centre and Eastgate in Johannesburg or the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town offer the most diversity. South Africa is practically riddled with malls, so there will undoubtedly be one near to you regardless of where you choose to stay. But if you are looking for something a little more unique, then visit one of the country’s flea markets.

Flea markets are a great place to find unique and interesting items such as clothing, jewelery, ornaments or collectibles. Bruma Market in Johannesburg is reportedly the biggest flea market in the southern hemisphere. Here you will find a massive collection of goods for sale. Other flea markets include Panorama Flea Market in Mulbarton, and B&B’s Hillfox and Rosebank’s Rooftop Market.

In Cape Town, the Green Market Square has become legendary for its great variety of merchandise. The Mother City also has the Khayelitsha Craft Market, Pan African Market and the Waterfront Art & Craft Market. In Durban in Kwa-Zulu Natal, you can find the Church Square Market, Farepark Market, Essenwood Flea Market and the Victoria Street Market. Factory Shops are also a great place to pick up a bargain and they can be found all over the country. If you are based in Cape Town, be sure to get hold of a copy of Pam Black’s book The A-Z of Factory Shops in the Western Cape.

Rustenburg’s malls are a far stretch from the massive shopping centers found in major cities like Johannesburg or Cape Town, but be sure to check out the Waterfall Mall. This is the most well-known of the city’s shopping centers. If you’re looking for arts and crafts in Rustenburg, head to the city center and explore the shopping route known as the Rustenburg Ramble. Also check out Art of Africa in the Waterkloof District.

In Pretoria you will find crafts on sale every Saturday outside the entrance to the National Zoological Gardens. If you want to explore the malls, check out Arcadia Centre, Jacaranda Centre, Menlyn Park, Sunny Park, Centurion City and Wonderpark.

Surfing

South Africa has stunningly attractive beaches and high quality surfing conditions that rival the best in the world. Whether you are a hardcore surfing pro or just a novice keen to try out this exciting sport, the country’s surfing culture and fantastic conditions will not disappoint.

The Kwa-Zulu Natal coast is an absolute surfer’s paradise with water temperatures that are mild all year round. Each surfer has his own personal favorite spot along this coastline, though the waves are great pretty much everywhere including point breaks, hollow beach breaks and a few reef breaks. Winter produces the most consistent surf conditions in Kwa-Zulu Natal with swells reaching eight-feet. The hot surf spots in and around Durban include New Pier, Bay of Plenty, Cave Rock, St Mike’s, Umdloti, Ballito and Alkanstrand.

Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape is also renowned for its great surfing conditions. The swells tend to be smaller here, but it’s still worth checking out the hot spots. King’s Beach and ‘the pipe’ are most popular. Be sure not to miss the legendary Nahoon Beach in the city of East London approximately 4 hours drive from Port Elizabeth. Probably the most recognized surf hot spot in South Africa is Jeffreys Bay approximately 80 kilometers from Port Elizabeth. This world-famous right-hand break attracts surfers from all around the globe and is not to be missed.

As you head into the Western Cape, towards Cape Town, you will come across a variety of famed sandy beaches. These include Camps Bay, Clifton, Bloubergstrand, Hermanus and Muizenberg which all offer beautiful scenery and fantastic waves. But watch out, the water here can be pretty chilly!

The Garden Route stretches from Witsand to the Tstisikamma Forest further east. It is a popular tourist route that is known for its spectacular beaches and mountainous coastal forests. Plettenberg Bay is a great surfing spot with Robberg and Lookout beaches being the popular choices by surfers in the Cape. Victoria Bay, just outside The Wilderness hosts a number of surfing competitions and offers incredible surfing conditions. For updates on what’s happening in the South African surfing world, check out Surfing South Africa.

Culture

Cultural tours are a great way to experience a country’s finest aspects and to immerse yourself in its culture. With eleven official languages, South Africa has a wealth of cultural diversity for visitors to explore. The ‘rainbow nation’ represents a plethora of art forms from theatre and jazz, to poetry, art and dance and a number of activities are an offer to explore the country’s multiculturalism.

One way to explore South African customs and traditions is through cultural villages. You will find these establishments dotted around the country. These villages are places where guests are encouraged to learn about local cultures by immersing themselves in the traditions and customs of the indigenous people. Activities include trying your hand at throwing a traditional spear, tasting home-brewed beer, or consulting with a traditional healer.

Lesedi Cultural Village is a multicultural settlement situated approximately an hour’s drive from Johannesburg. Four traditional homesteads are located here, that of the Zulus, the Xhosas, the Pedi tribe and the Basotho people. Traditional families peacefully live their lives here and guests are given the chance to spend a night with a rural family (however, home comforts such as hot showers and comfy beds have been provided). Some other cultural villages include the Botshabelo historical town near Middelburg in the Mpumalanga province, Tlholego in Magaliesburg near Johannesburg, the Basotho Cultural Village in the Free State province and Shakaland in Kwa-Zulu Natal, which consists of a reconstructed Zulu village akin to those seen in the days of Shaka Zulu.

The mountains of the Drakensberg in Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Cederberg in the Western Cape were the natural canvasses of traditional San people. Wonderful depictions of animals and people offer an intriguing insight into the lives of these traditional people. There are a number of tour operators that offer trips into these mountains.

The Western Cape Province is definitely wine country and you will find a variety of estates here boasting beautiful Cape Dutch architecture. Immersing oneself in the welcoming style of these highly rated wineries is a must-do for first-time visitors to the country. The Stellenbosch wine route is the most popular.

For connoisseurs of the arts, there are several galleries and theatres in South Africa. The African Art Centre in Durban showcases the talents of traditional African artists and aims to promote the artistic heritage of African people, and Port Elizabeth is home to four major galleries – the Epsac Art Gallery, King George VI Art Gallery, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum and the Ron Belling Art Gallery. The windy city also hosts an array of theatre productions at the local Opera House.

Johannesburg is arguably the cultural hub of South Africa. The Newtown Cultural Festival, which is one of many festivals that take place during the World Cup, showcases a range of local theatre and musical productions. Newtown is home to the well-recognized Market Theatre and Basslines, a popular venue for live music. In addition to a thriving theatre and musical scene, Joburg also has The Johannesburg Art Gallery. It is the biggest gallery in the sub-continent and contains some of the most prized works in the country. Cape Town also attracts art enthusiasts with a large collection of South African, British, French, Dutch and Flemish art being housed in the South African National Art Gallery on Government Avenue.

Check out WhyGo South Africa for more on what to see and do, where to stay, and how to get around South Africa. Want someone else to do all the legwork for you? Browse our line-up of packaged tours available in South Africa and check out our indie travel tips for Johannesburg and Cape Town.


20 Most Incredible Historical Sites in South Africa

South Africa’s history is young. It doesn’t have buildings that date back to the fifteenth century, because back then its beaches were still combed by Strandlopers (the hunter-gatherer San, known as beach combers for their shell midden remains).

What South Africa does have is an interesting and varied history, one that highlights a distinctive blend of cultures and races that are its trademark…

When exploring our history, don’t miss these 20 incredible historical sites in South Africa

Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town

This 17 th century fort used to lie on the edge of Table Bay before Cape Town reclaimed a portion of its shoreline, now known as the Foreshore.

The monument is undergoing renovations, but this has not hindered the daily guided tours at 11:00, 12:00 and 14:00.

Company’s Garden, Cape Town

The oldest garden in the country began as Jan van Riebeeck’s vegetable garden, cultivated to feed the crews of the VOC’s fleet of ships when they came into Table Bay, in the mid 1600s.

You can still see a pear tree – one of the few remains of the original garden.

District Six Museum, Cape Town

If there’s one museum to visit when in Cape Town, this is it…

Considered one of the most important historical sites in South Africa, the small building vividly recounts the story of the mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants who lived on the edge of the city centre before the process of enforced removals, under apartheid, destroyed it.

Pinnacle Point Caves, Mossel Bay

Take a guided tour of Pinnacle Point where caves have revealed evidence that some of the planet’s very first inhabitants lived here.

Cave 13B reveals evidence of man’s earliest attempts at symbolic behaviour, whilst Cave 5-6 exposes the oldest evidence for heat treatment of rock to make tools.

Dorp Street, Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch’s city centre, and Dorp Street in particular, is awash with beautiful buildings of historical merit.

There is an historical guided or self-guided walk (Historical Stellenbosch on Foot) you can do – pick up a map at the Tourist Information to explore these fascinating and beautiful historical sites in South Africa.

Sheik Yusuf kramat, Cape Town

Sheik Yusuf, considered the father of Islam in the Cape, has his tomb on Cape Town’s coast, where he died in 1699 at Zandvliet.

It is a place of pilgrimage and arguably the most visited shrine. It forms part of the circle of kramats.

Church Street, Tulbagh

Unlike most towns, historical Church Street is not the main road through Tulbagh. It is, however, a beautifully restored trip down memory lane, awash with Dutch gables, thatched roofs and wandering peacocks.

Include the Earthquake Museum for a history of the damage to this little town.

Malgas Pont, Overberg

The pont that gets you across the Breede River has been in operation since 1860, the only hand-drawn pont, and the last of its kind, in South Africa.

Don’t expect romance it’s largely functional. And if you’re using it, make sure to phone the Malagas Hotel ahead to find out what times the ferry operates.

Dias Cross, Cannon Rocks

The Dias Cross at Kwaaihoek, partway between Boknes lagoon (you can see it on the headland of the bay) and Bushman’s River Mouth, is one of three crosses the Portuguese explorer erected when journeying around Africa in about 1487.

This particular cross has quite a story.

Dinosaur fossils, Nieu Bethesda

Make time in the heart of the Karoo to take the guided tour with a fossil expert to the very spots where these fossils remain embedded in the river bed.

Taung Heritage Site, Cradle of Humankind

The 2-million years old fossilised skull of a child was found in Buxton Quarry in 1924, but excavations continue at the heritage site, which forms part of the Cradle of Humankind, despite being 300 km from the Maropeng Museum, just outside Johannesburg.

Groenkloof’s historical sculptures, Pretoria

55 life-size copper sculptures are caught in motion (a relay race of heroes passing the freedom baton from one leader to the other) in Groenkloof Nature Reserve.

A display of South African heroes and heroines in Pretoria that are well worth a visit.

Kimberley Mine Museum

The historical Big Hole is to Kimberley what Table Mountain is to Cape Town.

But its accompanying Mine Museum Tour is brilliant, and you would be remiss not to take it.

Cornish Pump House, Okiep

Okiep is the country’s oldest mining town. Copper was first discovered and mined here in 1885.

The still-standing national monument that is the Cornish Pump House is the only fully intact pump house in the southern hemisphere.

Taal Monument, Paarl

The highly unusual Taal Monument sits atop Paarl rock, there since 1975 to commemorate the semi centenary of Afrikaans as an official language, separate from Dutch.

The views of Paarl and surrounding Winelands from the top are worth a visit alone.

Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg

One of the most import of the historical sites in South Africa to explore the country’s history of segregation and oppression is a must-do – immerse yourself in this interactive museum.

Durban’s City Hall

This Edwardian neo-Baroque building, built in the early 1900s and a replica of the city hall in Belfast, Ireland, is a stone structure that today houses a public library, the Durban Art Gallery, auditorium, and the Natural Science Museum.

Isandlwana, Battlefields Route

A series of self-drive routes take you through the historical battlefields of inland KwaZulu-Natal, linking battle sites, museums, memorials, graves and historical buildings.

Of these Isandlwana is the site of one of the most famous Anglo-Zulu battles.

Game Pass Rock Art, Drakensberg

There are thousands of examples of San rock art throughout the country, but the most significant of these are in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park.

Game Pass at Kamberg is one of the best preserved of these sites.

Coedmore Castle

This beautiful, barely known, historic family home was built in 1875.

Dubbed Durban’s ‘castle lite’ it lies in the middle of the Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve in Yellowwood park, not far from Durban’s city centre.

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Photo Credit

Taung Heritage Site Photo above by and © the South African Palaeocave Survey


Women Rise Up Against Apartheid and Change the Movement

A group of women hold signs in demonstration against the pass laws in Cape Town on August 9, 1956, the same day as the massive women’s protest in Pretoria.

Since the early twentieth century, African women actively opposed the pass laws restricting the movement of Africans. The women understood that these laws would tear African families apart, codifying where Africans could work and live and with whom. Even in the early 1900s, black women successfully prevented proposed legislation that would require them to carry passbooks. In 1953, however, their fear was close to becoming a reality, as the government announced that it would soon impose pass laws restricting the movement of black African women.

In the 1950s, the African National Congress turned to grassroots organizing to work against increasing racial restrictions. Women played a key role, encouraging the larger democratic movement to include women’s issues and fostering the leadership of women. The newly formed Federation of South African Women began organizing women of all races to fight together for equality. The federation started locally but spread throughout the country, organizing from street to street and within trade unions. These grassroots efforts led to many local demonstrations and culminated in the women’s march on Pretoria, the capital, in 1956. Yet their work did not stop the government from extending the pass laws to African women.

One of the leaders was Frances Baard, a longtime organizer with a reputation for perseverance. After the women’s march, the government charged her with treason but was unable to prove its case. A few years later, the government struck again, imprisoning her for five years. In this excerpt from her autobiography My Spirit Is Not Banned, she offers a firsthand account of the women’s march and the particular challenges black African women faced under apartheid.

Female demonstrators march to the Union Buildings (official seat of the South African Government) during the 1956 Women’s March on August 9, in opposition to the 1952 pass laws.

The Women’s March

For a long time the women were not proper members of the ANC [African National Congress]. They only changed that in 1943 when the women were allowed to join properly. That was when the Women's League started. So it was a very big thing for us to organize the women like that.

We used to go out in the evening mainly when everyone is home from work, and we walk from house to house in the [segregated township] location and talk to the women. We knock on the door, and when they open we tell them we are from the Women's League and can we talk to them. We talk about the problems they have—maybe it's high rent or no money for food. The women were always worried about their sons and their husbands being arrested for passes all the time. And they are worried maybe they will lose their houses. Also there were things that the people as a whole did not like, things that were very strong in their lives like housing and jobs and passes (some people could not get jobs because their passes were not right) and we used to talk to the women about these things too. The women had lots of problems. It is always the women who are trying to feed the family and look after them, and there is too little money and so on. We tell them how we want to do something about these troubles, and how they must join us so we can be strong and go to the authorities about all these things. After a while we had a group of women behind us who all wanted to help. Then we started to have big meetings. . . .

But us women, even when we did things like this, we never used to work by ourselves, because we were part of the ANC as a whole. We used to have our own meetings, just the women, and talk about what we wanted to do and how to do it. Then we would go to the general meeting [of the ANC] and tell them, "Such and such a thing is so and so, and we want to do this and this."

And we would tell them exactly what we wanted to do to put this thing right. We would discuss it all together at the general meeting and decide on it, and we would get a mandate from them. . . .

We women had a lot of problems at that time which the men didn't have to worry about. I remember there was one thing which we all used to worry about. If a woman's husband died they used to chase her out of the house, or tell her to get another husband, because only married women can have houses. I had a case with one woman who came to me one day. Her husband had just died and they chased her out of the house she lived in. She came to me and told me how they chased her out. I went and spoke to them and said, "But how can you let a woman go out of her house and yet she's got children? Where must she go?"

Then they tell me, "No, she must go back to the kraal [a cattle pen] there will be a husband waiting for her there." . . .

The Federation [of Women] decided that we should protest to Strijdom, the Prime Minister, that we didn’t want these passes. . . . [W]e would send thousands of women from all over South Africa, black and white. . . . So each of us in her own place had to organize the women for this protest. We only had a few months to prepare for this but we wanted to send many, many women. . . . But before we went to Pretoria [to the Prime Minister’s] we got all the women who couldn't go to sign petitions to say that they also didn't want these passes. . . .

It is two days by train [for our group] from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria. Two days on the train sitting in the railway carriage, singing all the way. First we went to Johannesburg and we slept the night in Soweto, and then the next day, it was August 9th, we went to Pretoria. Some took buses, some trains, some taxis, anything to get to Pretoria. . . .

Then we all walked into the yard of the Union [government] Buildings and we waited there for all the women coming from other places. . . .

It was about 20 000 of us altogether! . . .

Eight of us took all those petitions that had been signed, piles and piles of them, and we marched up to Strijdom's office to give them to him. The secretary told us that Strijdom was not there and that we were not allowed in anyway because we were black and white together. . . .

Then we walked outside again and joined the other women who were waiting in the amphitheatre. All the women were quiet. 20,000 women standing there, some with their babies on their backs, and so quiet, no noise at all, just waiting. What a sight, so quiet, and so much colour, many women in green, gold and black [ANC colors], and the Indian women in their bright saris! Then Lilian [Ngoyi, ANC leader] started to speak. She told everyone that the prime minister was not there and that he was too scared to see us but that we left the petitions there for him to see. Then we stood in silence for half an hour. Everyone stood with their hands raised in the salute, silent, and even the babies hardly cried. For half an hour we stood there in the sun. And not a sound. Just the clock striking. Then Lilian started to sing and we all sang with her. I'll never forget the song we sang then. It was a song especially written for that occasion. It was written by a woman from the Free State. It went: "Wena Strijdom, wa'thinthabafazi, wathint’imbokotho, uzokufa!" That means: "You Strijdom, you have touched the women, you have struck against rock, you will die." Of course he did die, not long after that. 1


Apartheid in South Africa - History bibliographies - in Harvard style

Your Bibliography: 2008. Understanding Apartheid. 3rd ed. Cape Town: Oxford University Press, pp.55-74.

The Water Apartheid of South Africa

In-text: (The Water Apartheid of South Africa, 2014)

Your Bibliography: 2014. The Water Apartheid of South Africa. [image] Available at: <http://history105.libraries.wsu.edu/fall2014/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2014/08/samap.gif> [Accessed 8 March 2015].

Campaign against passes in the Transvaal in 1919

In-text: (Campaign against passes in the Transvaal in 1919, n.d.)

Your Bibliography: Anc.org.za. n.d. Campaign against passes in the Transvaal in 1919. [online] Available at: <http://www.anc.org.za/show.php?id=9441> [Accessed 8 March 2015].

The Defiance Campaign in South Africa, recalled

In-text: (The Defiance Campaign in South Africa, recalled, n.d.)

Your Bibliography: Anc.org.za. n.d. The Defiance Campaign in South Africa, recalled. [online] Available at: <http://www.anc.org.za/show.php?id=8817> [Accessed 8 March 2015].

The Role of Women in the Struggle against Apartheid

In-text: (The Role of Women in the Struggle against Apartheid, n.d.)

Your Bibliography: Anc.org.za. n.d. The Role of Women in the Struggle against Apartheid. [online] Available at: <http://www.anc.org.za/show.php?id=4667> [Accessed 8 March 2015].

Boddy-Evans, A.

Women's Anti-Pass Law Campaigns in South Africa

In-text: (Boddy-Evans, n.d.)

Your Bibliography: Boddy-Evans, A., n.d. Women's Anti-Pass Law Campaigns in South Africa. [online] About.com Education. Available at: <http://africanhistory.about.com/od/apartheid/a/WomensAntiPass.htm> [Accessed 8 March 2015].

The Defiance Campaign | New History

In-text: (The Defiance Campaign | New History, n.d.)

Your Bibliography: Newhistory.co.za. n.d. The Defiance Campaign | New History. [online] Available at: <http://newhistory.co.za/Part-4-Chapter-13-A-resurgent-African-National-Congress-The-difiance-Campaign/> [Accessed 8 March 2015].

Anti-Pass Campaign | South African History Online

In-text: (Anti-Pass Campaign | South African History Online, n.d.)

Your Bibliography: Sahistory.org.za. n.d. Anti-Pass Campaign | South African History Online. [online] Available at: <http://www.sahistory.org.za/bloemfontein/anti-pass-campaign?page=2> [Accessed 8 March 2015].

Anti-Pass Campaign | South African History Online

In-text: (Anti-Pass Campaign | South African History Online, n.d.)

Your Bibliography: Sahistory.org.za. n.d. Anti-Pass Campaign | South African History Online. [online] Available at: <http://www.sahistory.org.za/bloemfontein/anti-pass-campaign?page=2> [Accessed 8 March 2015].

Apartheid and reactions to it | South African History Online

In-text: (Apartheid and reactions to it | South African History Online, n.d.)

Your Bibliography: Sahistory.org.za. n.d. Apartheid and reactions to it | South African History Online. [online] Available at: <http://www.sahistory.org.za/article/apartheid-and-reactions-it> [Accessed 8 March 2015].

Bantu Women's League protests against pass laws | South African History Online

In-text: (Bantu Women's League protests against pass laws | South African History Online, n.d.)

Your Bibliography: Sahistory.org.za. n.d. Bantu Women's League protests against pass laws | South African History Online. [online] Available at: <http://www.sahistory.org.za/dated-event/bantu-women039s-league-protests-against-pass-laws> [Accessed 8 March 2015].

The 1913 Women's anti-pass campaign in the Orange Free State | South African History Online

In-text: (The 1913 Women's anti-pass campaign in the Orange Free State | South African History Online, n.d.)

Your Bibliography: Sahistory.org.za. n.d. The 1913 Women's anti-pass campaign in the Orange Free State | South African History Online. [online] Available at: <http://www.sahistory.org.za/article/1913-womens-anti-pass-campaign-orange-free-state> [Accessed 8 March 2015].

The Anti-Pass Campaigns 1960 | South African History Online

In-text: (The Anti-Pass Campaigns 1960 | South African History Online, n.d.)

Your Bibliography: Sahistory.org.za. n.d. The Anti-Pass Campaigns 1960 | South African History Online. [online] Available at: <http://www.sahistory.org.za/article/anti-pass-campaigns-1960> [Accessed 8 March 2015].

The passive resistance movement begins with a Mass meeting of 2000 Africans | South African History Online

In-text: (The passive resistance movement begins with a Mass meeting of 2000 Africans | South African History Online, n.d.)

Your Bibliography: Sahistory.org.za. n.d. The passive resistance movement begins with a Mass meeting of 2000 Africans | South African History Online. [online] Available at: <http://www.sahistory.org.za/dated-event/passive-resistance-movement-begins-mass-meeting-2000-africans> [Accessed 8 March 2015].

Union of South Africa

Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on the Native Pass Laws

1922 - Cape Times Limited - Cape Town

In-text: (Union of South Africa, 1922)

Your Bibliography: Union of South Africa, 1922. Report of the Inter-Departmental Committee on the Native Pass Laws. Cape Town: Cape Times Limited.

Union Of South Africa

Report of the Inter-Departmental committee on the Native Pass Laws

In-text: (Union Of South Africa, 1922)

Your Bibliography: Union Of South Africa, 1922. Report of the Inter-Departmental committee on the Native Pass Laws. [image] Available at: <https://ia802605.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/6/items/reportofinterdep00sout/reportofinterdep00sout_jp2.zip&file=reportofinterdep00sout_jp2/reportofinterdep00sout_0001.jp2&scale=5.58887171561051&rotate=0> [Accessed 8 March 2015].

Freedom Charter | South African History Online

In-text: (Freedom Charter | South African History Online, n.d.)

Your Bibliography: V1.sahistory.org.za. n.d. Freedom Charter | South African History Online. [online] Available at: <http://www.v1.sahistory.org.za/pages/governence-projects/freedom-charter/index.htm> [Accessed 8 March 2015].

Freedom Charter | South African History Online

In-text: (Freedom Charter | South African History Online, n.d.)

Your Bibliography: V1.sahistory.org.za. n.d. Freedom Charter | South African History Online. [online] Available at: <http://www.v1.sahistory.org.za/pages/governence-projects/freedom-charter/index.htm> [Accessed 8 March 2015].

Walker, C.

Women and resistance in South Africa

1982 - Onyx Press - London

In-text: (Walker, 1982)

Your Bibliography: Walker, C., 1982. Women and resistance in South Africa. London: Onyx Press.


The South African economy took a significant hit in 1986 when the United States and Great Britain imposed sanctions on the country because of its practice of apartheid. Three years later F.W. de Klerk became president of South Africa and dismantled many of the laws that allowed apartheid to become the way of life in the country.

In 1990, Nelson Mandela was released from prison after serving 27 years of a life sentence. The following year South African dignitaries repealed the remaining apartheid laws and worked to establish a multiracial government. De Klerk and Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for their efforts to unify South Africa. That same year, South Africa’s Black majority won rule of the country for the first time. In 1994, Mandela became South Africa’s first Black president.


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